I was going out of town for four days, spending time on Santa Catalina Island with some women friends.
The plans for Mom's care and amusement during these four days were elaborate. In addition to the staff at Ocean View, Mom's personal caregivers would show up regularly, changing shifts every twelve hours.
To top it off, my brother Jim was flying in from Denver. He spent time in Mom's room, took her to Denny's on Thursday, and toured the Getty Museum with her and Jona on Friday. She had a great time.
On Saturday our sister Emily visited Mom, doing some physical therapy with her.
But still Mom asked about me, noted that I was absent. I called her on Thursday and Friday, asking how she was doing and reminding her where I was.
On Sunday morning John discovered an angry message on our phone machine:
"This is your Mother! I thought we were going to church today. When are you going to see me? I'm very worried about it. I'm not on your list any more, I guess. Good-bye. Leave a message."
He called Mom and explained: "Anne's not home... She's in Santa Catalina this weekend with her friends. She'll be back tomorrow."
"Okay," she said. But she felt abandoned, and tomorrow was as far away as the moon.